The world’s largest rooftop solar array will be on a tire factory
Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ Falken Tires plant in Thailand will become host to the world’s largest rooftop solar array on a single facility.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, which was founded in 1909 by UK tire maker Dunlop, was Japan’s first tire manufacturer. It’s the fifth-largest tire manufacturer in the world, and it sells its tires in more than 100 countries.
The factory, which makes tires for the European market, is in Rayong Province, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Bangkok. And once it’s fully fitted out, it’s expected to be 100% sustainable.
The world’s largest rooftop solar installation will cover an area of 100,000 square meters (1,076,391 square feet). That’s bigger than 10 American football fields.
It will be made up of around 40,000 solar panels, and it’s expected to have a total output of around 22 megawatts (MW) when it comes online in January 2025. For perspective, 22 MW of rooftop solar could potentially power around 2,724 US households.
The factory is also getting a new gas cogeneration system that will consist of two 6.6 MW boilers powered by renewable energy, which will replace energy supplied by local utility companies. Biomass from surplus branches and trunks after rubber tree harvesting will provide additional power.
Overall, Sumitomo Rubber Industries is aiming to reduce its emissions by half compared with 2017 levels in 2029 and achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.
Read more: Scientists put a semi-transparent solar roof on a greenhouse, and unexpected things happened
Photo: Falken Tire
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